17 Jan 2019 21:43

Ukrainian Communist Party leader Symonenko to run for president as self-nominee if not registered as party candidate

KYIV. Jan 17 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko, who recently announced his presidential ambitions, said the Communist Party also plans to run in parliamentary elections scheduled for October 27, 2019.

Speaking on the TV channel Nash on Thursday evening and asked by the host whether the Communist Party intended to run in the parliamentary elections, Symonenko replied: "Definitely. We are a political party that has set itself the goal of striving for power and changing this regime and political system."

The Communist Party is not banned in Ukraine, even though the Justice Ministry declares the opposite, Symonenko said. "The Communist Party is not banned. We are registered with the Justice Ministry. Official propaganda keeps saying for the voters that the Communist Party is banned, and this is being done for PR purposes," Symonenko said.

As concerns his plans to run for president in the elections at the end of March, Symonenko said that, if the Central Elections Commission denies his registration as a Communist Party candidate, he would run as a self-nominee.

"We are well aware what methods are going to be used against us, because they have tried to ban us all these five years, and therefore, naturally, we have anticipated this, and the convention instructed me that, if there is a problem with my nomination by the Communist Party and I am not registered [as a presidential candidate], I would run as a self-nominee. And the party would support this," he said.

Symonenko said the deposit of 2.5 million hryvni to run in the presidential elections is "a very heavy burden" for the party, but money is currently being collected to make this deposit.

The Ukrainian Communist Party nominated Symonenko as a presidential candidate on January 3, 2019. The party convention also instructed party committees and branches across the country to complete the collection of donations for making the deposit until January 20.